Skip to comments.Shoeless George Bush--Washington's continuing confusion with Islam
Posted on 07/04/2007 9:09:03 AM PDT by SJackson
Exactly 50 years later, standing shoeless, George W. Bush rededicated the center last week. His 1,600-word speech also praised medieval Islamic culture ("We come to express our appreciation for a faith that has enriched civilization for centuries"), but he knew a mosque from a church and he had more on the agenda than flattery.
Most arresting, surely, was his statement that "I have invested the heart of my presidency in helping Muslims fight terrorism, and claim their liberty, and find their own unique paths to prosperity and peace." This cri du coeur signaled how Mr. Bush understands to what extent actions by Muslims will define his legacy.
Should they heed his dream "and find their own unique paths to prosperity and peace," then his presidency, however ravaged it may look at the moment, will be vindicated. As with Harry S Truman, historians will acknowledge that he saw further than his contemporaries. Should Muslims, however, be "left behind in the global movement toward prosperity and freedom," historians will likely judge his two terms as harshly as his fellow Americans do today.
Of course, how Muslims fare depends in large part on the future course of radical Islam, which in turn depends in some part on its understanding by the American president. Over the years, Mr. Bush has generally shown an increased understanding of this topic. He started with platitudinous, apologetic references to Islam as the "religion of peace," using this phrase as late as 2006. He early on even lectured Muslims on the true nature of their religion, a presumptuous ambition that prompted me in 2001 to dub him "Imam Bush."
As his understanding grew, Mr. Bush spoke of the caliphate, "Islamic extremism" and "Islamofacism." What euphemistically he called the "war on terror" in 2001, by 2006 he referred to with the hard-hitting "war with Islamic fascists." Things were looking up. Perhaps official Washington did understand the threat, after all.
But such analyses roused Muslim opposition and, as he approaches his political twilight, Mr. Bush has retreated to safer ground, reverting last week to decayed tropes that tiptoe around any mention of Islam. Instead, he spoke inelegantly of "the great struggle against extremism that is now playing out across the broader Middle East" and vaguely of "a group of extremists who seek to use religion as a path to power and a means of domination."
Worse, the speech drum-rolled the appointment of a U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, directing this envoy to "listen to and learn from" his Muslim counterparts. But the OIC is a Saudi-sponsored organization promoting the Wahhabi agenda under the trappings of a Muslim-only United Nations. As counterterrorism specialist Steven Emerson has noted, Bush's dismal initiative stands in "complete ignorance of the rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and anti-American sentiments routinely found in statements by the OIC and its leaders."
Adding to the event's accommodationist tone, some of the president's top female aides, including Frances Townsend and Karen Hughes, wore makeshift hijabs as they listened to him in the audience.
Sitting in the front row at the Islamic Center on June 27, 2007, senior Bush administration staffers Frances Townsend (left) and Karen Hughes wore makeshift hijabs.
In brief, it feels like "déjà vu all over again." As columnist Diana West puts it, "Nearly six years after September 11 nearly six years after first visiting the Islamic Center and proclaiming Islam is peace' Mr. Bush has learned nothing." But we now harbor fewer hopes than in 2001 that he still can learn, absorb, and reflect an understanding of the enemy's Islamist nature.
Concluding that he basically has failed to engage this central issue, we instead must look to Mr. Bush's potential successors and look for them to return to his occasional robustness, again taking up those difficult concepts of Islamic extremism, Shari'a, and the caliphate. Several Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and (above all) Fred Thompson are doing just that. Democratic candidates, unfortunately, prefer to remain almost completely silent on this topic.
I don’t know what volvonators deal is, maybe he’s one of those many stealth muslims tasked to propagate their crap on the internet. But he lost all credibility when he claimed Bush never said “islam is peace”. He doesn’t realize we have the internet to trip him up.
I’m going to look into Frum’s story. Maybe there’s truth in it, maybe not. I never said stuff like that didn’t happen. I said that it was far overshadowed by the outpouring of grief and patriotism shown by most American Muslims.
But you, rageaholic, you still can’t show a quote where Bush said “Islam is peace.” You might find similar sounding quotes that mean different things, but you won’t find the specific in-context quote you claim.
Now, while I do a little homework on Frum’s story, ponder the following:
But at the same time, we had ample evidence (the examples from Dearborn, for example) of Arab Americans expressing sadness and outrage at the 9/11 attack. We also have the many Arab American soldiers fighting in our military.
The most either of you can say is that there are some bad Muslim Americans and many Muslim extremists around the world. I won’t ever deny that. But both of you continue to deny the fact that Muslims have lived peacefully in America for over 100 years and that the vast majority continue to do so. You simply seem to ignore any information that goes against your thesis that all Muslims are inherently evil.
I did a little checking on Mr. Frum’s prior posts here on FR and found things like his referring to Muslims as “a billion pieces of filth” and “subhuman.”
Where do such “arguments” take you, Mr. Frum? What exactly would you like to see done to American Muslims?
You choose to ignore facts presented to you because it suits your argument.
I stand behind any and all statements I may have said in the past, although I will not believe anything that you choose to quote as you are full of inaccuracies. I don't need to check what I may have said before.
Here is perfect example, not only did Rageaholic already post the specific in context quote once before, you neglected to read it, before you reacted. Then you react with the same wrong information that you posted before he corrected you (with the type of information that a 3rd grader could likely find in less than a minute on the White House website, which is beyond reproach in terms of accuracy).
Again, I will requote and re-emphasize again (in bold face) below:
But you, rageaholic, you still cant show a quote where Bush said Islam is peace. You might find similar sounding quotes that mean different things, but you wont find the specific in-context quote you claim he did, and he posted a link to the white house website, with the press release.
The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace
Once again you've made a proclamation and you've been proven dead flat wrong, your credibility is shot.
I do apologize—you are both correct about President Bush’s statement. I was wrong.
But in its context, I agree completely with the president’s remark.
Now let’s talk about credibility. Particularly you, Mr. Frum.
You have ignored every example I’ve given you regarding peaceful patriotic American Muslims and about Muslims overseas who deplore the actions and beliefs of the extremists. Moreover, Mr. Frum, your previously insanely hateful comments regarding Muslims are a matter of record here on FR as is your failure to address them now.
In terms of credibility, I think I beat you hands down. Note, for example, that not a single GOP candidate would support your assertion that the world’s billion Muslims constitutes “a billion pieces of filth.” Nor would they agree with you that there are no peaceful patriotic Muslim Americans.
Only the fascist far right would go along with you on these points.
So, I have to say, I’m pretty happy with my credibility. I may make an honest mistake now and then, but I’m not an enemy of American freedom and principle.
Yet, it is a cancer to all who encounter it through weakness, and a disability o those who come to it through strength. It is false, a confusion. A breeding ground for grudge bearers and the perverted vicious soul.
A more apt comparison would have been FDR visiting a Japanese Shinto shrine a few days after Pearl Harbor, taking his shoes off, and declaring Japanese as "peaceful". Unthinkable, right? But Bush did the same thing a mere 4 days after 9/11--while the ground still smoldered in New York, he took his shoes off in a flithy mosque and declared "Islam is Peace". He shamed all Americans, and I have viewed him with suspicion from that very day. My wife and I knew that he had taken the wrong path in the then-nascent "war on terror". Bush simply doesn't get it. God help us if the next guy doesn't either.
In the long run, Muslims will join the real world. Hopefully before their fellow humans wipe them off the face of the earth.
The ideas behind Islam condemn it's followers to poverty and war.
And yes, on the edges, it is a death cult. Some Muslims are starting to see this - - they wonder why, if their religion is so great - does it produce war, poverty and hatred. Muslims need to question. Bush needs a plan that forces the debate.
Oh well... that is definitely slut material
I'm not sure why you replied to me but since you did . . .
Bush is not the savior of the world. It's not his job to save the jolly folks of Islam.
In the short run he is supposed to perform his duties as President of the United States. But instead, in the short run, his best buddies are the Saudis and Ted Kennedy, neither of which have this country's best interests at heart.
In the long run my guess is that, if the Hindus are right about the afterlife, he's probably going to reincarnate as a worm.
In the long run, Muslims will join the real world. .
Why are you speaking for the Muslims? There isn't much evidence that Muslims are "joiners". If your goal is to spread peace and love then perhaps instead you could say," They just don't seem to play well with others, bless their hearts."
Hopefully before their fellow humans wipe them off the face of the earth.
Their fellow humans are probably too civilized to wipe them off the face of the earth. What's really needed is a good pruning. You know, the kind where it looks like you've killed the bush but it will, in the long run, grow back, hopefully healthier.
The ideas behind Islam condemn it's followers to poverty and war.
Let me get this straight. You think in the long run the mussies will join the real world but admit that it is their religious beliefs that have kept them from doing so. So you think that in the long run they're going to rewrite the Koran? Or that they will see the light and all become Christians?
And yes, on the edges, it is a death cult.
And yes, in the middle it produces war, poverty and hatred.
Some Muslims are starting to see this - - they wonder why, if their religion is so great - does it produce war, poverty and hatred.
In your world there are Muslims going around thinking their religion is wrong based upon their living conditions. Are these the same Muslims that have been drawing cartoons of Mohamed?
Muslims need to question.
Yes, and bathe more often and display a little less arrogance. Perhaps you could be the one to tell them so.
Bush needs a plan that forces the debate.
Bush needs to do his job. The military forces of the civilized world need to force the debate.
Either you are a closet liberal (in which case why you hang out on a conservative bulletin board is beyond comprehension) or you are a closet muslim. In my opinion both are pretty much not worth their salt they contain.
Fascism is for gullible losers. Socialism is also for losers. Communism IS a failure. Only capitalism is the true salvation.